Disruptive innovations are essential for the future viability of companies of all sizes. Incremental progress delivers value but does not prepare companies for the digital future. For this reason, Prof. Dr. Werner G. Faix, Managing Director of the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) at Steinbeis University and Dean of the Faculty of Leadership & Management at Steinbeis University, used his opening speech at the scientific symposium “Leadership in a Digital World” to point out precisely this urgency for disruptive innovation in companies.
One of the disruptive innovations of the past decade is artificial intelligence (AI), which is already being used in many areas of human life and work. In the future, countless other fields of application are predicted for AI technologies. One topic that has received less attention in the public debate is the connection between ethics and artificial intelligence. The fact that humans program AI applications has the consequence that they follow the morals and ethics of the programmers. Prof. Dr. Klaus Mainzer, Emeritus of Excellence at the Technical University of Munich, has been working on the highly relevant question of how to deal with this challenge for several years. As part of the international symposium in Stuttgart, he gave a video presentation in which he outlined the relevance of a concrete roadmap for human-machine collaboration.
In the digital future, everyone will be confronted with this type of collaboration. This is just as true for skilled workers as it is for managers. The recruitment and education of these leaders will also move in the context of artificial intelligence. For this reason, Dr. Sylke Piéch, Senior Research Manager Educational Technology Lab of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, held a workshop on “Qualification of Managers in the Context of AI” during the symposium. Among other things, Dr. Piéch described how recruiting with the help of artificial intelligence, so-called robot recruiting, can look. The workshop leader emphasized that although the selection process is driven by AI, humans should have to make the final decision.
For AI processes, such as robotic recruiting, to be integrated into companies, fundamental institutional changes are required, for example in the mindset of employees. Realizing these changes can be facilitated by an innovation-oriented corporate culture. At this point, managers have a duty to drive developments forward and to take employees along with them on the path to change in order to make companies fit for the future. A fact that Prof. Dr. Faix emphasized in his closing speech at the event.
The scientific symposium of the SIBE with the Steinbeis Foundation and Eurac Research Bolzano gave all participants an interesting insight into the role of leadership in the (digital) future. Disruptive innovation, institutional collaboration and employee enablement were brought into focus. However, leadership in a digital world, as a broad topic, goes far beyond these issues, so that with all the new impulses, just as many relevant questions have been raised, which should be considered and explored in more detail in the future.
Some of these questions are attempted by the open access journal “Leadership, Education, Personality: An Interdisciplinary Journal,” published by Springer. In this scientific contributions on the topics of digital transformation, leadership and work design, among others. The journal was founded at the beginning of 2019 in a cooperation between Springer-Verlag and the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) at Steinbeis University.
The SIBE is the Graduate School for Leadership & Management at the scientific Steinbeis University. Her teaching and research focus is on Management & Business Leadership and thus on the topics of leadership, personality and innovation, as well as the areas of tension that arise from the combination of these topics.